Thursday, July 31, 2014
On Wednesday mornings (if I'm not working), one can usually find me walking around the weekly farmer's market near our town. This gives me the opportunity to look around and fill my bags with vegetables and fruits for the week. But that's not just it - I also like to buy a dozen fresh farm eggs which we usually eat soft boiled on Wednesday evenings. In the past weeks, I've also tasted some new arrivals in the market such as Potato Cakes / Galettes, Middle Eastern Bread, Couscous Royale, and even Paella! But most of the time, I sniff my way to where the Roasted Chicken / Poulet Roti is. To me, a French market without its Poulet Roti stand isn't a complete market and I just need to smell the scent of roasted meat!
Sunday, July 27, 2014
My friend, LY, insisted that we didn't leave his home empty-handed and so we left with a platter of some of his mom's homemade Algerian Pastries. I'm not one to say no when offered a gift so I gladly accepted (with a huge smile on my face according to my husband) and counted the kilometers home when I could finally attack the platter! When I finally did, I carefully tasted each pastry. Some I absolutely loved, some I liked less. For example, I loved the ones shaped like a crescent and topped with sesame seeds, while the squarish ones (second from the left) I fancied less. MR followed my suit and he loved the first one (from the left) which was loaded with honey. I'm not a fan of honey, but even I loved the pastry. The only downside of this would be not knowing the pastries' name, so if you are reading this and know it, don't hesitate to share! I could probably go online and find, but I wouldn't know where to begin. When LY handed me the platter, he actually mentioned the names, but I honestly was too busy staring at the goodies and not listening to him! LOL When he finished talking, I snapped back to reality and insisted that I would gladly volunteer to collect any extra or unwanted pastries anytime! :p
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Like I mentioned in the previous post (click here to read), we stopped by the city of Epinal on our way home from SO's summer camp. When my friend found out that we were in the area, he invited us to come over his house in the afternoon. I've never been to Epinal before, but I've always wondered about it as many describe it as resembling the nearby cities of Metz and Nancy. So that's why I told my friend, LY, that we would be at his house at around 4PM giving us an hour to quickly tour the city and sight-see a bit. Unfortunately for us, there was a huge pro-Palestine demonstration happening in the center of the city and we were told to avoid it as much as possible. With the number of people present, we wouldn't be able to do much sightseeing anyways.
Finally, D-Day is here. The day we picked up SO from summer camp. I still can't believe she was away from us for a week and did really good. At 5 years old, I think she did pretty amazing. On the other hand, her mother (me) who is 28 years old and suffered terrible separation anxiety! Which is why I was feeling slightly torn today. While I was really really really excited to pick up SO from summer camp and see her, I was also hesitating to do it. As we approached the camp site, I felt myself not wanting to go. Sensing my hesitation, MR asked me what was bothering me so much. Timidly, I confessed that I was afraid she would be disappointed to see us and would ask to stay in summer camp rather than come home with us. MR listened to me babbling but laughed (grrrr!!!) and said knowing our daughter that wouldn't happen. I hoped for me that that would be true because I didn't know how I could handle it. Thankfully, he was right. SO jumped out of her seat when she saw me and wouldn't stop hugging and kissing me. I felt like my heart was endlessly jumping and doing cartwheels!
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The past days have been horrible! Ever since we brought our daughter, SO, to summer camp I've been missing her terribly. I'm used to when she stays overnight at my sister's on the weekends but that's only 1 night, 2 nights max. One week is a lot to endure! And the days seem longer too lately. I'm not working at the moment, so I'm pretty much waiting at home all day long. I wait for MR to come home from work or I wait for the summer camp director to put photos and summaries of their day online. I thought I would be doing so much better than this, but I'm not. It's ironic because I supported SO's choice from the beginning, while MR was really hesitant and had to be convinced by us! But now, he has no problems sleeping at night and even comforts me when he sees that I am down. Ironic, ain't it?
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
If I were to choose my last meal, I think I would ask for a delicious platter of Sushi and Sashimi. I don't know exactly how it happened, but ever since my teenage years I've always been a huge fan of Japanese cuisine. Perhaps it was from my mother's special admiration of Japan, but it didn't take much for me to fall head over heels. Unlike my husband, MR, who had to take several years to get used to it especially with the raw food. But seriously, I could probably have Sushi and Sashimi every day and (of course with Japanese soy sauce and a hint of wasabi) and not get sick of it for a long long long time!
Monday, July 21, 2014
McDonald's France has released a new dessert and it is my new favorite thing this summer! I don't exactly remember where or when I first saw / heard about McDonald's Very Parfait dessert, but right away I was intrigued. In my mind, I always equate summer with ice cream so this was really perfect timing!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
After our walk around the lake, it was only natural that we would stay for dinner. One, we were super hungry and two, we had to check out what the restaurants by the lake were like. We had our choice of restaurants to pick, but we eventually chose one right in front of the lake - Les Rives du Lac. We hoped for a nice outdoor table with the view of the lake, but we didn't. Instead, we were seated on an outdoor table with the view totally blocked by another table and sandwiched between two other tables. Boo.
It's hard not to think of Gerardmer when I think of Les Vosges. Although there are other touristic and known places like La Bresse, I fell in love with Gerardmer since the first time I visited it. It's all about the beautiful lake, the lush greens, and the chill ambiance. So on the way home from SO's summer camp (click here for the post), I thought it would the perfect opportunity to make a little detour to Gerardmer. MR has never been before and like me, I knew he would love it. I later regretted not getting a hotel room to stay overnight, but we still had fun walking around. Life has been crazy busy these past months and it's been a while since we were able to spend some time just MR and I. It was a very relaxing moment, where at times it almost felt that time had stop and it was just the two of us.
I don't know if I ever mentioned it but SO, my 5 year old daughter, is my miracle child. And most probably the only child I will ever have. When I was told 6 years ago that I could never have children naturally, I was crushed. I didn't know where MR and I would be heading and if we could be one of those couples that could survive being just the two of us. I was 23 then and the future was a big question mark. And then the miracle happened. Some time after that, during a routine check-up for my ovarian issues, the image of a fully formed baby appeared on the ultrasound screen. To say that I was shocked is an understatement and when the doctor asked MR to come in the ultrasound room, he was as equally shocked. If I wasn't seeing the image of the baby or hearing its heartbeat, I would have thought this was a sick joke. Once the feeling of shock faded away, stress quickly sank in. I was 4 months pregnant, entering the second trimester of my pregnancy and millions of questions popped in my head. Was I ready for this? How would we support this child? One minute I was accepting the fact that I would never have children, then the next I was actually pregnant with a child! I still can't believe that that was 6 years ago. These days I am still feeling stressed. It has never stopped. Except these days I am stressed for other reasons.
Monday, July 14, 2014
A couple of days ago, one of my close friends, MT, called and asked what we were planning to do on the evening of the 14th of July, otherwise also known as the Fete Nationale in France. I, unfortunately, wasn't sure of anything as MR didn't have his work schedule yet, so I told her I was unable to promise her anything. Just a week ago, we had lunch together at Villa Roma in Morhange (click here for the post) and she loved the place so much that she wanted to go back with her husband, DI, MR, and I. I didn't confirm anything until last night when we found out that MR was indeed working this evening. My daughter SO was happy to take his place as my date tonight. I loved seeing MT and her husband, DI, play with SO throughout the night and I wonder if a baby is in the plans this year! ;p
Saturday, July 12, 2014
I heard a while back that there was an Asian restaurant in Saint Avold, France, but I wasn't familiar with it. I couldn't find much information online so I didn't know if it was updated or if the restaurant was still running. Anyways, when MR came home from work this afternoon, I told him that my niece had picked up our daughter for the weekend and we were all alone for the evening. I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner, so I was happily surprised when MR suggested we try the Asian restaurant in Saint Avold. He had also heard about the restaurant from his colleagues, but the feedback were pretty bad. So I went online to have more information while MR was showering and found out that there were in fact 2 Asian restaurants in Saint Avold. Not knowing which one we were going to since both didn't really have good reviews online, I went with what seemed to be the less of the 2 evil.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
One thing that I love in summer are the fruits. While I prefer winter food (stews and soups), I am a sucker for summer fruits - Strawberries, Peaches, Nectarines, Melon and my absolute favorite ... Cherries! I eat them by the handful anytime during the day and these are the first things I look for in the weekly open markets.
Monday, July 7, 2014
It's officially the summer break!!! This means that starting today I am working way less than usual and SO isn't going to school for two months. Unfortunately for MR, he is working just as much (or even more!). We are not going on vacation this summer, although my legs are begging to, because our schedules just won't permit it. I still can't believe it's gonna be almost 3 years I haven't seen the beach. Just thinking of it hurts. Anyways, you can't always have what you want in life and really, who I am to complain anyways. Especially on a day like today where I get to mark the start of the week (and of the summer) with two of my close friends. Eating out with good friends is not a bad way to start the week and I could definitely get used to this! :)
Sunday, July 6, 2014
On the way to Ippoudo Ramen (click here for the post), we passed by the Marche Central of Nancy. MR is starting to love local markets as much as I do and we made a mental note to drop by after lunch. Because we still had a long afternoon ahead of us, we couldn't buy anything. We still enjoyed a visit around the Marche Central. There were lots of food stalls and interesting restaurants.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
One thing I'm sure of is that - there is a God and he is good! Just a few days ago, I was having possibly the worst restaurant experience this year (click here for the post) and here I am today in yet another Asian restaurant but experiencing the total opposite! For those who don't know me yet, I grew up in the Philippines and lived there up until 2 years ago. I had a great life prior to moving to France despite the family tragedies and what else. Living in France is different in all aspects, but it's great too. It just needs getting used to which I guess is pretty normal when you've lived 18 years in one place and have really only known that. Anyways, as much as my Dad made sure to live the French way in the Philippines, I grew up eating and loving Filipino dishes. It's really a shame that it's not as popular as others. To me, the Philippines is a result of different cultures, different ways of life, and different influences and the Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of flavors. But that's not the only cuisine I got to discover there. Because if there's one thing that the Philippines is great at is the way they embrace neighbors and how open they are towards new things. Which is something that I struggle daily here. While in France it is common to hear "no" to trying new things, a Filipino will most likely say "let's give it a try".
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I am in a love-hate relationship with the restaurant, Kefan in Metz, France. It's quite frustrating I must admit because you never know if you're going to have a good time or not. Anyways, work has started to calm down, but I was in town because my boss wanted to gather her employees before the summer break. We talked and talked and at around 8PM, we were separating ways. Because I still had to drive an hour to go home, I thought I'd eat dinner in the city. I told MR that there was a big chance I would, so he was taking our daughter on a father-daughter date tonight.